April 03, 2010

April 2010, Vol. 9, Issue 4

Welcome back to the latest issue of Truckin'.

1. Lovers' Whirlwind by Paul McGuire
I don't know if you want to know the real answer. You're a new arrival. It's not proper to ask all these questions on your first day. The real answers are not important... More

2. The Dog Lover by Sigge S. Amdal
I had a chat with my pet fish and decided to check out the local pet store to see if they had frozen larvae – a delicious to hungry Kili fish that'll make 'em fornicate like swine given the opportunity... More

3. A Hermit Faces the Drunken Public by Jonny Vincent
People are still - generically - boring as all fuck. Guys are still - generically - pathetic in their desperate and pitiful sleazy crabbing for attention when placed in the vicinity of the Unfair Sex... More

4. Pie by Katitude
Her gray hair was caught up in a bun that had become untidy and thin wisps had escaped it to frame a pale face. A much-washed pastel pink t-shirt proclaimed her to be the "World's Greatest Grandma"... More

5. Crazy Colonel Ranald MacKenzie by Johnny Hughes
In the scene in Dances With Wolves where Kevin Costner rides around between rebel and union lines trying to get shot, that was based on Crazy Ranald. He was brave like only a crazy man can be. He got shot with bullets and arrows. He was also called Bad Hand because he lost two fingers in combat... More

6. Hip-Cat Jargon by Tenzin McGrupp
I secured a one-way rental. $300 for the week. Would it take me a week? Maybe more? I had no idea. I'd probably want to make a couple of spontaneous stops along the way. My new life in California would have to wait a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks. Who knows, maybe I wouldn't even end up there at all... More

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...

From the Editor's Laptop:

Welcome back to another delicious issue of your favorite e-zine which features writers from countries such as Canada, Australia, Norway, and Texas. We have a cast of regulars including Sigge's foray into pet store erotica and Johnny Hughes with a tale about cowboys and Indians. This issue also marks the return of two former Truckin' scribes with Katitude's road story about motorcycles and pie, and Australian playboy Johnny Vincent's tale about booze and hermits. Tenzin McGrupp makes another cameo with a short story. And I penned a bit of fiction.

The scribes write at Truckin' for free, so please do us huge favor and help spread the word about your favorite stories. Tell your legions of friends on Facebook about us. Tweet your favorite story. We all appreciate the help and your generosity will improve your karma.

If anyone is interested in being added to the mailing list or writing for a future issue, then please to contact us.

As always, I can never thank the writers enough for sharing their blood work. They all take a blind leap of faith with me every month and I'm eternally grateful. They inspire me and keep this little e-zine humming along month after month.

And lastly, thanks to all of the readers for their unwavering support. That's you. If you're reading this... you rock.

Be good,

"Art is making something out of nothing and then selling it." - Frank Zappa

Lovers' Whirlwind

By Paul McGuire © 2010

"How long have you been here?" Jorgen asked as he rubbed his eyes and his temple.

"Hard to tell," explained the girl in the green dress. "I want to say seven years. But it could be longer."

"Seven years? How about everyone over there?"

"Please, don't point. It's not polite. I know you are a new arrival, but we have certain rules here. If the eld-"

"I apologize," interrupted Jorgen. "I was referring to those people standing on the grass."

"I know who are talking about. I don't think this is the right time."

"Right time? I don't understand. Who are they? Why are they wearing weird clothes? How long have they been here?"

"I don't know if you want to know the real answer. You're a new arrival. It's not proper to ask all these questions on your first day. The real answers are not important."

"Real answer? Please, you must tell me."

"At least seventy years."

"I'm sorry, seventeen?"

"No. Seven. Zero. Seventy. And that's just for Rose. The other have been here longer. Much longer."

"You mean, I could be here for seventy years?"

"Get used to it."

"Is there anyway out?"

"We should not be speaking about this. You really should leave."

"Please. I'm very confused. This all seems like a dream. But I know it isn't."

"How do you know for sure? This is not where you think it is."

"Where are we?"

"When is a better question than where."


"No. When."

"When what?"

"What when where?"


"It just is."

"Wait a sec. Where are we?"

"When are we."

"I'm more confused."

"Only because you keep asking questions. If you just be and not think, you will feel much better."

"My vision is blurry. I have a headache. I need to sit down."

"You're a new arrival. You shouldn't be doing all this thinking."

"New arrival? Where?"


"Not this shit again."

"Please refrain from profanity. The elders do not approve."

"Who are the elders?"

"No more questions."

"OK, so when are we?"

"You figured it out."

"I did? I don't get it."

"You're supposed to be."

"Be what? Wait, or be when?"

"Be now."

"But now is when."


"Are we in the past?"

"Time is not linear."

"Is life?"

"Apparently not."

Paul McGuire is the author of Lost Vegas.

The Dog Lover

By Sigge S. Amdal © 2010

I was having a relaxing day doing nothing at all when I realized that I'd actually have to leave the flat to get some eggs and a six pack (breakfast & dinner). I had a chat with my pet fish and decided to check out the local pet store to see if they had frozen larvae – a delicious to hungry Kili fish that'll make 'em fornicate like swine given the opportunity.

It was a lazy Saturday and people seemed to relax at the same pace as I. That's what I'm going to miss about this place, the Sleepy Hollow just two bus stops above the Party St. #1 of Oslo. People can head downtown if they want the shopping hysteria and trendy stress-related symptoms of an urban lifestyle. Those that are left are unemployed alcoholics, pregnant housewives on maternity leave and poets who lost the war.

Having placed my bets on the regular horses – I play 6, 11, 4, 5, 8, 10, 2, 9 and 13 every weekend – I strolled casually through Torshov in a state of blankness.

There's a pet store just across the local café where they mostly cater the dog and cat owning crowd. I don't have a dog, not just yet, but I grew up in a mixed pack so I sympathize with those that keep them. Maybe they had fish food as well?

I stepped inside and a brown terrier pup belonging to one of the customers greeted me friendly, sniffing at my hands and acknowledging my superiority. I hate dogs that don't, and consider your leg or any other limb for that matter a humping pole for sexual stimuli.

I asked at the counter if they had any fish food but all they could show for was weekend & vacation feeding tables. Not good enough, but thanks anyway.

"But do you have a dog?" a busty blonde stopped me in the doorway.

"No, I don't. Not just yet."

She was nice. Fresh, appealing, in her sexual prime. And it was hot outside.

"You see, I'm giving away these samples of dog food, but if you don't have a dog I guess it doesn't interest you."

"Oh, I'm interested," I said. "Maybe you could tell me all about it somewhere less public?"

She took the bait, line hook and sinker.

"Hey, I'm just gonna show this gentleman some of the other bags in storage. I'll be right back!" she yelled above the isle to the middle-aged woman at the counter, and took my hand.

"Come with me."

There was a small five by five meter storage room stuffed with huge bags of dog food and I bent her down on one of the piles, while she quickly dropped her yellow panties.

"I'm gonna do you like a dog," I said, pulling out my member and playing with her cheeks.

"You like that, don't you? Yeah, you're a little dick loving puppy."

I could feel her blood throbbing around my JT. She whimpered anxiously.

"You've been waiting for this, haven't you? It's time the alpha male got his dips."

I thrust her against the plastic fodder bags, and she sounded like a virgin, wet as a dog's snout.

"Get your blouse open."

I didn't stop but she unbuttoned and I grabbed the firm breasts with both hands.

"Lean over me," she said.


"Lean over me, like a Labrador. I want to feel your breath in my ear."

I did as she said and panted into her ear, licking her cheek, and going as far inside I could, completely filling her with the pure adrenaline of beast head.

She made a yelping sound and came all over me, and I followed rightly after. I just love to hear 'em come.

"Thanks," she said and kissed me.

"Anytime," I said, just noticing the strong smell of dog food, making me cringe.

"God, that's an awful smell from the bags."

"No, I love it," she said, buttoning her blouse.

"Can I call you for a deal if I ever buy a dog?"

"Sure," she said and winked. "And you?"

I turned in the doorway.

"Bring the dog too."

Sigge S. Amdal is a word wanker from Oslo, Norway.

A Hermit Faces the Drunken Public

By Jonny Vincent © 2010

I was abducted tonight against my wishes [yes, it's possible to sanely wish for abduction - read on for a legitimate example] by miserable wretches masquerading as 'friends'. As I am no longer on the radar of any kidnap-for-ransom types due to no longer possessing a ransom worthy of kidnap efforts, I was initially unable to isolate and identify the motivations driving my friends' cruel and inhumane actions as they [with the aid of brute force in the form of incessant refusals to take "when a blizzard sweeps through fucking Hell..." as an answer] coldly shoved my frail and helpless frame out into the unfamiliar and dangerous arena shared by...the public-at-large.

They dragged me out of my Hermit Refuge and forced me to appraise [with my own unwilling eyes] the bleak reality that is a Sydney pub on a Friday night. In both medical and indignant shock, it took me some time to clear my head and find clues as to the role I was expected to perform in such a gore-filled Colosseum. But slowly, I discovered that I was expected to perform like a trained exotic dancer and entertain their quarry for them. I had been conscripted to provide this product in lieu of their [apparent] inability to reach deep into their alcohol-rattled memories and successfully draw on an anecdote or joke or off-hand remark that didn't inspire the listener to nausea and /or uncontrollable fits of cringing.

Nauseous and cringing, I decided my only hope of escaping this predicament with my sanity more-or-less intact would lie in my ability to break into tap, dance and song a la Shirley Temple. I also took note of the fact that my cooperation might serve to curry favour with my handlers. And I would be lying if I did not admit I had vague hopes of self-inducing Stockholm Syndrome which might allow me to [maybe] even enjoy this torturous trap which had so completely ensnared my attentions and more.

You may be equally astonished to discover that - in the years since I last participated in such degrading activity - not much has changed [in style or substance] in the performing of the Drunken Flirtation Dance. People are still - generically - boring as all fuck. Guys are still - generically - pathetic in their desperate and pitiful sleazy crabbing for attention when placed in the vicinity of the Unfair Sex. The preferred line appeared identical to that practiced by the youth in my day; get blind drunk to the point of alcohol poisoning, boldly embarrass yourself before your God and your Country by approaching numerous random girls without being properly introduced [and without at least a plausible-if-flimsy excuse to offer up to the more gullible of their sex as a substitute-to-the-obvious reason for such gross impropriety].

The lemmings instead march on fearlessly smack into the Heart of Darkness; armed only with a firm desire to sleep with their prey [cost to dignity or wallet be damned]. Any thought expended on such frivolities such as...Your Opening Line...was considered by most to be 'wasteful thinking' and an unnecessary expense of iPhone-limited brain battery power.

The trainwreck of disaster that predictably ensued would have been a lot more enjoyable [as a spectacle] had I not already watched that identical show 173 times in my long and wearied life. I did get some enjoyment out of ridiculing two friends who giggled like embarrassed Filipina bargirls when exposed to the daunting prospect of two [clearly] promiscuous women who [for their part] were employing an equally non-existent degree of subtlety in their attempts to attract my friends' attention/s. By the Sun God, even a quadriplegic could have converted in that spot. My giggling friends dropped 0/2 from the foul line, crushing large pockets of air in their failure to even get close to the net. This was, unfortunately, the highlight of my evening.

Things [as they are casually wont to do] went from tolerable to not extremely rapidly when a non-giggling friend successfully convinced some young ladies to join our group of "casual conversation-makers" [a common disguise adopted by those who attend meat auctions but don't wish to be identified as active bidders - the inane and incoherent rambling can appear (to a moronic spectator) to be *actual* conversation - which may serve to mask the party's clear and obvious intentions; namely, to scan their near environment for any drunk females who haven't yet been sleazed into abstinence].

Crafty subterfuge indeed.

Of course, when one spots a prospective victim not [already] under all-out assault, all pretence to conversation is dropped and target is acquired with an approach [admirably] drenched in a fool's courage...but [less admirably] sans all other ingredients one might wish to include should one wish to bat around 0.111 or higher in this sport. It quickly became apparent that my friends had no such lofty batting average ambitions. They were playing a Numbers Game - and playing it remarkably optimally with an apparent clear understanding of the concept of 'volume' as it relates to 'success'. Churn and turn. My friends are the Wal-Mart of Australian nightlife. And, whilst they might hold ambitions and stuff, I fear they pretty much appeal to the same demographics as Wal-Mart.

When success was achieved and a group of ladies joined our non-existent conversation, I was amused to discover that no strategic or tactical plan existed beyond "first contact" [unstated or otherwise]. There was widespread optimism, to be sure - but if that were, in itself, a tactical plan with any merit...the entire city would be sprawled out into various Greek and Barbarian orgies. Whilst it certainly worked for The Boy Who Could Fly, merely desperately 'wanting' something is generally not [in itself] a precursor to acquisition.

As I was merely an unpaid conscript in this fight, the temptation to remain silent as my leaderless comrades milled about in industrious Fail was - shall I say - appealing. But rather than watch with amusement as that rudderless ghost ship sailed on into the awkward night, my cursed training kicked in and I stepped into the gap of silence with an Errol Flynn Flourish [much to the relief of all present, including the girls - who were surprisingly nervous in the face of yet another 100% chance of success scenario].

I rattled on and on in glorious fashion, inevitably awing all and sundry - not to mention delighting the crowd which had gathered to listen to my rambling as if I was a more attractive Jesus / Obama / Messiah. As the sole stoker, I shoveled coal into that engine with demonic jawsome. I lubricated all and sundry like a welcome shower of KY Jelly; pulling shy types into the conversation like a gentleman, throwing out open-ended questions into the air like a lady student of law - and I'm proud to report my CPR kept that abortion of a group flirtation effort alive and breathing many hours past it's expected Time of Death [+/- 5 min from Time of Birth].

But - alas - whilst it may certainly appear [to the naked eye] that I possess an element of deity, the stark truth is I am merely [often, barely] a man and incapable of canonization-worthy miracles. Like a Viagra pill deep into a sailor's shore leave, I petered out after delivering glorious hof for hours past the expected duration for effective delivery of service. Exhausted but satisfied, I turned the strike over to any friends who wished to step into my [admittedly, daunting] boots.

I was - of course - instead greeted by a wall of awkward silence. Bemused but not surprised, I flirted with the idea that maybe one of the girls would be man enough for the job - but of course that line of thinking was girlishly silly. One girl - to her drunken credit - attempted a line of discussion which had potential but, unlike Nelson Piquet Jnr, she unintentionally crashed in spectacular fashion long before Turn 17.

The next half hour was - for want of a more painful adjective - painful. Like giving birth or 2009 or Fritzl-painful. Torturous. Unforgiving. Brutal. I cared not a thing for the attendant floozy's, but I resented my not-inconsiderable efforts evaporating in front of my increasingly misty eyes. There is nothing so painful as watching wasted efforts go up in [unsmokable] smoke. I solemnly swore [for the 47th time in my life] that I would never invest 'effort' into anything ever again.

Fighting to mask my disgust from being broadcast by my chiseled and expressive facial features, I instead courageously grit my teeth as I braced for the inevitable impact of the mundane. The blow hit with the force of a tsunami wave - and the fact I had lived through identical tsunami waves probably 138 times before [and lived to tell the tale] was of no small comfort when it washed my Castles in the Sky clean away. I instead found comfort in the thought I might discover a discarded string of rope with which I could noose myself, and thereby craftily sidestep the ongoing torture.

To cut a long story short...I found no merciful rope.

The subsequent hour of conversation would [if one were to create such an abomination] produce a highlight reel which looks roughly like this:
- cut to awkward conversation where friend attempts to guess female counterpart's age

- due to having no other scene to cut to, continue screening coverage of the "age guessing game" as it passed the 10 minute mark [having passed the suicide-inducing mark exactly 9.8 minutes prior]

- cut to my furrowed brow as I realise I'm trapped [somewhat ironically] in a torture chamber of my own witty making, then pan down to my quivering lips where a consultant trained in the reading of which would confirm I was masking my growing hyperventilation with repetitions of The Lord's Prayer along with ad-hoc, panicked SOS pleas to any god that might be in radio range to please please turn me into a bird so I can fly far far away from here etc

- cut to awkward attempt at friend attempting to establish physical contact on the outskirt of huddle...shocking all spectators [perhaps even himself] when his sexual assault is deemed 'welcome' / successful [fine line, that tightrope - dignified men choose not to walk it]

- cut to chatter which effectively traces atop the outline of an identical dialogue completed only an hour earlier...a conversation triggered by yours [mostly] truly

- fin. merciful, merciful fin.
I would have given my net worth and much, much more to any abductor who put in a tender, bid or quote which might have delivered salvation from that god-awful hour of misery. I was a helpless Monet watching my canvas being drooled upon and touched up by an entire kindergarten armed with crayons, Play-Dough and drunken exuberance. A celebrated architect imprisoned in my own Bastille. Charlotte trapped in my own web. Merely another victim of Life's Endless Irony - with no one to weep for my suffering or reward my courage under, in and around the fire with a Medal of Valor. Or other equally important token gesture which serves notice to all that, on a dark and dangerous night long since lost in the annals of such otherwise-unworthy-of-archive history, I [the wearer of Victoria Cross-flavoured salad on my deceptively effeminate chest] displayed conspicuous gallantry in the face of seemingly insurmountable faggotry. And [bravely] lived to tell the tale.

My present safety from the wandering hands of an ardent Fritzl should - in time - allow me to lick clean my [many] wounds. But I can reliably inform the good here reader/s of my rambling that the cliche "what does not kill you makes you stronger" is, in fact, poppycock horseradish nonsense [of a Biblical nature]. The pain from the deep gashes may depart [in time], the tears may dry on my cheeks, but the meticulous gashes inadvertently leave their distinct calling card and I'm yet to meet a chick that digs emotional scars.

And, though naked before God and Tube8 [as I stand here now], I am but [still] fully clothed. And I swelter in endless humidity. For, you see...I am but still wearing a fitted suit quilted together from two decades worth of such scars.

John Horatio Vincent III, Esq. is a writer originally from Brisbane, Australia. He currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

Hip-Cat Jargon

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2010

I hailed a taxi driven by a guy with an authentic Cajun accent. He told me how he hitched across America on old Route 66 when he was my age.

"I was almost killed by a serial killer, but escaped at the last possible second," was the one line that stuck out the most.

The Cajun cabbie fixed motorcycles in his spare time, but never read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I suggested that he read the book but scoffed at the notion because he said he knew everything possible about motorcycles. I didn't argue. By the time we got to the airport, he had convinced me that I was foolish to fly to California because I'd miss out on all of the experiences of being a young man on the road.

"Sell your ticket and hitch a ride," he told me. "Like the real adventurers used to do."

I enjoyed the complexities of the big cities and the hustle and bustle instead of gazing out across the prairies at the hazy clouds listening to the thunder claps miles away. Since I was looking for a different path in life, my scattered visions of modest possibilities convinced me to drive out West and seek out adventures, just like Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac, except without the gay sex and all that jive talk and hip-cat jargon.

I got a refund for my ticket minus the $100 change fee. I hopped aboard one of the free airport shuttle to the closest car rental agency and I secured a one-way rental. $300 for the week. Would it take me a week? Maybe more? I had no idea. I'd probably want to make a couple of spontaneous stops along the way. My new life in California would have to wait a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks. Who knows, maybe I wouldn't even end up there at all. My entire plans changed with one conversation.

"You miss out on all of that living when you're up in the air flying," the cabbie's words echoed throughout my brain.

In On the Road, Kerouac wrote about his sojourns navigating through America while he only ate apple pie with mountains of vanilla ice cream. I could eat that every day, although I preferred cherry pie with chocolate ice cream.

Kerouac and his raspy nature loved the dismal wilderness and simplicities of Middle America -- fantastic bloom of spring flowers, the anthology of life on the edge of fading towns, suspicious long walks by unfaithful wives, pool hall hustlers robbing johns in no-tell motels, country folk with warm backyards, endless railroad tracks without any trains, raging torrents draining out into the Mighty Mississippi, stained spittoons in saloons, tragic gestures of the death of rural America, rickety gates on termite-infested picket fences, nurses with horrible bedside manners, mud-caked pickup trucks full of tools, elm trees with lovers' initials carved into the trunk, the delegation of the seekers of the holy ghost, the outlaws in shambles riding that frantic rush of homemade speed, saw dust soaking up the swill of the lushes, chubby bankers stuffing their faces with Omaha steaks, and queers in purple scarves belting out Madonna songs at karaoke bars trying to drown out the dull roar of laid off factory workers wondering what to do when their unemployment runs out.

Time to get living.

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer originally from New York City.


By Katitude © 2010

We were somewhere in the Southwest, maybe Utah, maybe south Colorado. We were on a two-lane secondary highway, the kind that used to be the main road before they built the Interstate. It was August, and it was hot.

The area was bone dry, and the sun and lack of water had bleached the scenery we rode through into a study of beiges and tawny golds. The only breaks in the brown landscape were the blacktop that we followed and a meandering line of green trees along a small river.

We passed a small gas station, the first building we had seen in more than 100 kilometres. We rode past it, and then an impulse made me look at how far we had gone since the last fill up. I realized that I'd need gas soon. I pulled over and waited for Keith, the maker of coffee, the fixer of motorcycles, the holder of the map, to see how far until the next town. Too far for comfort, so we turned and rode back.

We stopped in front of the pumps and no one came out of the building. We assumed it was self service and filled up. It was my turn to pay. I fished my wallet out of the tankbag and headed inside.

Stepping through the door was like stepping back in time to the kind of place that progress forgets, and though there's a bit of wear at the edges, it likely looks much the same now as it did when it first opened. A diner counter ran along the length of the back wall. At one end of the counter, right in front of the door was an enormous manual cash register, grey and squat with a clear window at the top where the numbers popped up. Cards were pinned to the wall above the cash register, the ones you used to see in truck stops with the die cut slots that held black combs and flints for zippo lighters. Starting from the cash register, the counter curved to the left. Chrome stools with red vinyl seats were bolted to the floor every few feet or so. In front of every stool, the charcoal and red pattern of the melamine countertop had been worn away, leaving a plate-sized spot of the underlying red.

Only two people were inside; a Native American man and his son seated at the counter. The man wore a cowboy hat, boots, dark jeans with a crisply-pressed crease down the centre and a gingham-checked western shirt with the pointed pocket flaps and the mother-of-pearl snaps. It all looked well-worn, but clean and looked-after. Not Sunday best, more like going-to-town best. I was fascinated; being from Ontario meant I'd never really seen anyone wear cowboy gear when it wasn't Halloween or Pride week. He glanced and caught me staring. I nodded a hello, and then turned my gaze to the three glass cake stands by the coffee machine.

Pie. They had pie. And it all looked homemade.

An older woman walked slowly through a swinging half-door from the kitchen. She looked tired and as faded by the years as the surrounding countryside was faded by the sun. Her gray hair was caught up in a bun that had become untidy and thin wisps had escaped it to frame a pale face. A much-washed pastel pink t-shirt proclaimed her to be the “World's Greatest Grandma.”

Her watery blue eyes did not reflect the polite smile she gave me as she wiped her hands on an old white tea towel. I handed her the money for the gas and asked her if the pies were homemade.

She looked slightly insulted. “Of course!” she replied.

“Give me a sec. I'll be right back!” I told her.

I went out to get Keith. He had already suited back up while I paid for the gas, but he took everything off again as soon as he heard me say “They have pie!”

We never turn down an opportunity for pie. Within moments, we were back at the counter to coffee and pie in front of us, lemon meringue for Keith and cherry for me. While Keith engaged the man and his son in conversation, I focused on the slice of pie on the scratched ironware plate in front of me. I closed my eyes with the first bite, and I think I may have hummed with pleasure. The filling of sour red cherries and sugar had that perfect sweet/tart ratio. It was a summer taste, one that reminded me of those lazy childhood days between one school year and the next. It was as close to being like my mother's as I'd ever tasted, and I told the woman so when she came back to top up our coffee cups.

This time her smile reached her eyes. I looked at the lines of her face, a mixture of laugh lines and frown marks. Her hands, big knuckled and chapped, were working hands. On impulse, I asked her, “How long have you been here?”

Her smile faded. “Too long,” she said, and walked back through the swinging door into the kitchen.

Katitude is a writer from Toronto, Canada.

Crazy Colonel Ranald MacKenzie: The West Texas Indian Wars of the 1870s

Johnny Hughes © 2010

In this part of West Texas, Colonel Ranald "Bad Hand" MacKenzie is seen as the hero of the Indian wars of the 1870s. There were so-called battles in all our area canyons: Yellow House, Blanco, Tule, White River, and the last and largest battle of the Red River Wars, in Palo Duro Canyon against Quanah Parker, and several tribes. MacKenzie had to spend more time killing people than anyone in American history. He entered the Civil War in 1862. Right after the Civil War, he began leading cavalry charges on Indian villages against dozens of tribes in several states and Mexico. This went on until 1880.

To hell with the movies, there was a real sameness about Bad Hand's methods and goals. They wanted all the Indians in West Texas to die or leave for Oklahoma reservations. When the cavalry found an Indian village, they attacked, shooting Gatlin guns, and repeater rifles. They had artillery and superior numbers. The Indians rarely fought back. The Indians were basically retreating and hiding for a few years. At the first shot, the Indians would flee. Some of the warriors would harass the cavalry some, so that the women and children could get a head start on the sabers. My home town of Lubbock has a large park named after Col. MacKenize and a Junior High. The Indians camped in these area canyons near the edge of the Caprock so that the women and children could climb up the sides to the flat Llano Estacado to escape when the cavalry attacks began. Who knows how many were killed? Or died later from their wounds, disease, exposure, and starvation. From Montana and into Mexico, across decades, MacKenzie would ride in after the initial assault and they would burn every thing the Indians owned: lodges, blankets, buffalo robes, stored food stocks, weapons, clothing. They killed all their horses. In several of the canyons, the bleached bones of the horses remain. In the final big "battle" in 1875 in Palo Duro Canyon, MacKenzie burned all the lodges in five villages, and all the food stored for the winter. His troops captured 1400 horses. They kept 300 and shot the rest. They kept an accurate count on the horses, mules, and ammunition, but the number of Indians who died as a result of this government policy has not been written. MacKenzie led white and black soldiers, the famous buffalo soldiers.

With winter approaching, the Indians were left without food, horses, blankets, warm clothes, or a place to hide. Most surrendered to face a long, cold, hungry walk to Oklahoma. Those that surrendered to the cavalry were in a herd on foot, and herded like cattle or horses.

One reason researchers don't find as many Indian artifacts in the panhandle is that crazy ol' Ranald MacKenzie burned them all. The Indians said they lost sixty or so in the initial assault in Palo Duro. MacKenzie reported three. There weren't as many killed in these battles as one might think. Who knows? The reports are obviously falsified. Sul Ross has a college named after him. He reported on attacking a small Indian village when all the men were off hunting. He killed some Comanche women. Bat Masterson, the famous lying gunfighter, probably only killed one man in an actual gunfight. He was one of MacKenzie's scouts. MacKenzie's allies were the Tonkawa Indians a.k.a. the Tonks. This was a smaller band that hated the Comanches. They scalped, dismembered, and ate some of the Comanches. They'd burn all the dead and wounded and it made an accurate account of the Indian losses difficult to ascertain. Women and children weren't mentioned, but the United States government policy was to make war upon them if they were not on the reservation. Texas Rangers, buffalo hunters, and anyone else were welcome to assist in the policy.

The Indians would make attacks when they had superior numbers, and atrocities were a regular occurrence on both sides. The Indians attacked Adobe Walls, a trading mini-town, with hundreds of warriors. They killed two guys sleeping in a wagon, and scalped them and their St. Bernard. Then the eighteen men in town killed some of the Indians from inside fortified buildings. I don't think the Indians ever won.

Oh come on, Generals Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan knew all those years that Ranald MacKenzie was nuts. One biographer said he had syphilis, the worst sexually contacted disease which leads to insanity. Every once in a while he'd take a mental health leave, and had five orderlies keeping him focused on the burning left to be done. In the scene in Dances With Wolves where Kevin Costner rides around between rebel and union lines trying to get shot, that was based on Crazy Ranald. He was brave like only a crazy man can be. He got shot with bullets and arrows. He was also called Bad Hand because he lost two fingers in combat.

MacKenzie never married. After he freaked out and had a mental leave, they made him a general. He decided to get married. On the night before his marriage, the now general went into a store. He broke the leg of a chair and nearly beat the owner to death. A crowd subdued him, babbling and incoherent which he was to remain most of the time for the rest of his life. They retired him from the Army and placed him in a mental institution in New York.

Later, he was released to live out his days with a cousin. He did not speak or appear to communicate. Col. Ranald MacKenzie's father had also been a military man. He was a Captain in the Navy, but he made a bad career move when hung the son of the Secretary of War for mutiny.

Johnny Hughes is the author of Texas Poker Wisdom.